How Social Media Defines Your Marketing Audience With Precision

How Social Media Defines Your Marketing Audience With Precision

When it comes to marketing your brand, the most critical factor is to know who your target audience is and then find the best way to reach out to them. As you look to 2018, and make plans to promote your product or services in the coming year, one thing to consider is just how effective social media can be in helping you accomplish that. In fact, it’s the most effective means available when it comes to drilling down to a specific audience that would be the perfect match for what you have to offer. That’s not to say that other media venues are ineffective. TV, radio and print each have their advantages and all are effective in their own ways. But when it comes to sorting through a vast audience to find the small sliver who are the best match for your products or services, social media is in a category all its own. Social platforms provide tools that allow you to target precise audience segments so you know you are reaching the exact potential customers or clients you want to reach. For example, let’s say you’re a financial professional and you’ve decided women are a new target audience you want to reach out to. Where do you start? Well, we know that half the U.S. population is female, but that doesn’t exactly narrow things down for you very much, does it? After all, a 20-year-old college student on the other side of the country isn’t likely what the typical financial advisor has in mind as a potential client. Enter social media. Those social media tools can help...
Why People Share On Social Media And Why That Matters To Brands

Why People Share On Social Media And Why That Matters To Brands

Every day people start their day by checking in on social media – and before too long the sharing of memes, posts, videos and cat pictures starts in earnest on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other platforms. What’s driving all that sharing? Lots of things, probably, but to boil it down to its essence, people share on social media because they come across something that appeals to them and they think it will appeal to like-minded people. They share because they like the feedback they get from sharing. And they share just because it’s fun. So what does that mean to you and why does it matter to your brand? After all, you’re looking for results! It all boils down to understanding how and why social media users behave the way they do. This information is valuable because if you understand the needs of your social media audience it will help you make decisions that influence those users to act in a way that benefits you or your brand. Let me share (there’s that word!) just a few key points about sharing on social media: They’re building their personal brand. Each time a user shares something on social media they are taking one more step in strengthening their personal brand. Yes, you may be surprised to hear that individuals have their own brands, but it’s true. Think about it, you may have some friends that focus on sharing pictures and updates about their fishing and boating hobby while others may focus on sharing humorous headlines, jokes, etc. While the former is presenting themselves as a fishing enthusiast, the latter is...
The Unseen Impact Of Social Media Marketing

The Unseen Impact Of Social Media Marketing

Fairly often when I talk about social media and its role in a PR and marketing effort, people ask me this question: If I invest my money in social media marketing, how many leads will I generate or products will I sell? Whenever I get this question, it hits home that there’s a fundamental misunderstanding about what social media marketing is – or is not. As I try to explain, what social media does most effectively is create brand recognition and keep your name in front of the people you’re trying to reach. And, of course, through that process it should definitely have an impact on your sales. But it can also be an unseen impact, not just direct-response sales or leads. So, what do I mean by an unseen impact? I was just discussing this with Jay York, our senior social media strategist, and he had a great way of explaining it. Years ago, the popular TV show “Seinfeld” was often referred to as a “water cooler show” because the morning after a new episode aired people would chat about it with their co-workers. So, even those people who never watched an episode of “Seinfeld” learned about the Soup Nazi, puffy shirts and an eccentric holiday known as Festivus. They became part of our culture at that time … and still are! The same water-cooler-type moments hold true with social media. When people see something on social media that strikes their fancy, they’re likely to mention it in real life to friends or associates. It could be a restaurant, or a book, or a new store that opened...
4 Reasons Why Live Video Should Be Your Latest Publicity Tool

4 Reasons Why Live Video Should Be Your Latest Publicity Tool

Anyone who tunes in to television news is familiar with those moments when the anchor announces dramatically that “we are now going live” to a reporter who’s on the scene of whatever extraordinary event has grabbed the attention of the news crews. But in all your years of watching such broadcasts did you ever imagine that one day you might have the ability to “go live” with your publicity efforts? Well, that day has arrived (which could mean that flying cars and robot maids aren’t far behind). Just recently I was talking with our social media team about the popularity and benefits of Facebook Live, a social media format that allows people to speak directly to an audience in a visually interesting and content-rich format. Anyone with a smartphone can literally “go live” on Facebook to express views on a new theme park ride, demonstrate how to prepare a gourmet meal, teach guitar lessons or talk about whatever topic moves them on that particular day. And it’s free! But the even more exciting thing to me is how this can be used by anyone who wants to promote their brand. For example, a financial professional who writes a blog on retirement issues could in addition share the same information with clients and potential clients through the live video. So just why would you want to make this one more part of a well-rounded publicity campaign? I mean, after all, you’ve got that blog that’s serving you well, right? And you already post on Facebook. Here’s one reason. As wonderful as the written word can be, video has a significant...
How Social Media Can – And Can’t – Help You Survive PR Calamities

How Social Media Can – And Can’t – Help You Survive PR Calamities

Everyone has a PR misstep every now and then, but few brands have experienced the kind of unmitigated publicity disaster that United Airlines has dealt with the last couple of weeks. Certainly, I hope you haven’t. By now I’m sure you and nearly everyone you know have seen that viral video of a United Airlines passenger getting yanked out of his seat by police, his face smashing into the armrest in the opposite row. Other passengers, clearly mortified, aimed their smartphone cameras at the ordeal. In seemingly no time, the video was shared online, news organizations reported on the PR disaster, and people on social media skewered the airline relentlessly. All because United Airlines needed to open up a few extra seats on the flight and couldn’t come up with a more delicate way of solving the problem. I often talk about what a great tool social media is for promoting yourself or your brand, and how in this day and age social media is an essential element in an overall publicity campaign. And that’s just as true as ever. But, as the United Airlines situation reveals, social media is a double-edged sword that can be used against you when the publicity tides turn and customers want to complain about your service. As I pondered that situation, I decided to ask Jay York, our senior social media strategist, to share a few tips about the role social media can and can’t play when your brand gets a black eye. Here’s what Jay had to say: Get ahead of the problem before social media is involved. While it’s great when...
How Can I Supercharge My Social Media Efforts?

How Can I Supercharge My Social Media Efforts?

Why You Should Use Social Media to Build Your Opt-In Email List! By now, everyone knows that social media is a key component to any marketing campaign. At least if you’ve been reading these newsletters you do. But aside from the obvious benefits of outreach and awareness, there is something else you can be doing with your social networking campaign that can supercharge all of your efforts: build an opt-in email list. I know from my own experience that social media marketing has enabled me to increase my email list by thousands, with those on the list continuously receiving my newsletters that carry my advice, my tips and my message. My newsletter helps my social media contacts remember me and what I do, not because I am actively selling and promoting myself. Like my social media strategy, I use these pieces to add value to the lives of the people on my list. My formula is simple – if some of you like what you read, when you have the need and the resources and are considering using a PR firm, you might consider my company. And that’s it. What’s more, I know it works, because I’ve used this formula to build a thriving 27-year-old business. Adding value for my clients is the real reward I have enjoyed by combining my email and social media marketing efforts. So how can you do this? Let me share a few actions that we find are successful. Join Targeted Discussions and Post Valuable Content. Within your social networks, stay abreast of trending topics and discussions that your target audience will find relevant....